Seneca’s social trajectory was quite exceptional: a rich citizen from the imperial province of Andalusia, he rose to the Senate and indeed to the rank of consul. As far as we know, he was among the first four or five provincials to rise to this supreme honor, one generally reserved for native Italians.1 His career reminds us of the upstart Cicero’s a century earlier. In both cases, literary celebrity played a major role: the Roman Empire prided itself on its culture.